For beginners, you might find yourself relying on the ski poles to stay upright and keep moving. Expert skiers use the poles less for balance, and more to find a rhythm or execute sharp turns and maneuvers.
No matter your level of experience, the ski pole is more than just an accessory. The right set of poles can make you a better skier, and little details such as length and weight can have a massive impact.
Here at fastbreakplay.com, we searched out the best ski poles on the market. From downhill skiing and backcountry adventures to cross-country excursions, we’ve got you covered with quality products from the brands you trust.
Our list features some of the most trusted names in outdoor adventures and the skiing community, such as Black Diamond or LEKI. Hop on the chair lift and let us do the work for you.
Best Backcountry Ski Poles: Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro Ski Pole
It’s no shock that when it comes to ski poles, the top choice is Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro Ski Poles. The brand itself garners respect, as Black Diamond is one of the most trustworthy names in sports. At a cost of around $150, they offer patented Flicklock Pro adjustability with a lightweight aluminum build to support rhythm and balance. These also have SwitchRelease breakaway technology in case you need a quick release, making these some of the safest and best backcountry ski poles available. Like one skier points out, “these poles live up to the Black Diamond name.”
The affordable choice: Atomic Unisex’s AMT Poles
At less than $15, the Atomic Unisex’s AMT Poles are perfect for beginner skiers who might not be ready to break open the piggy banks on their new hobby. Despite the low price, these are “great, light weight, basic poles,” as one satisfied customer wrote. They have steel tips that can drive into the snow and hold, making them one of best cross country ski poles at a minimal cost.
Most popular: LEKI Spark Lite S Ski Pole Pair
From bunny hills to black diamonds, the LEKI Spark Lites are massively popular with a loyal following. With a price tag of around $150, LEKI fans love the combination of lightweight design and useful features. As one reviewer noted, “you can keep these poles on your wrist without worrying about injury because of the tension release system.”
What to look for in ski poles
The length of your ski poles should reflect your height. Many standard poles come in sizes of 125 cm, 130 cm, and 135 cm. One of the top benefits of adjustable ski poles is that you can adapt to changing styles if you adapt your skiing over time. They are also convenient for transportation as you can collapse them to smaller sizes while traveling.
The materials used for your ski poles will play a big role in their total weight. Aluminum is a common material and is a great combination of weight and durability. Carbon fiber is found in the higher quality poles and is extremely lightweight but slightly less durable. Expert skiers typically seek lighter poles, though these tend to be pricier and made of composite or carbon fiber.
Depending on the type of skiing, you should choose a different style of ski poles. One of the biggest factors in deciding which pole is most appropriate is the basket, a plastic disk at the bottom of the pole that stops it from sinking too far into the snow. Wider baskets are meant for looser powder, while smaller baskets are used for groomed snow or cross-country.
Why trust us
If you’re flying down a hill or cruising through the forest, you want the ski pole you’re carrying to meet your expectations and keep you safe. We know this is an important purchase and rely on expert advice to ensure we deliver top quality results.
Our resident expert is Physical Therapist Ignacio Suárez, Postural Reeducation Specialist. He has spent years recommending sports equipment to athletes, both amateurs and professionals. When it comes to ski poles, he stresses the importance of accurately measuring yourself for poles before purchase.
If you choose to measure yourself, the pole should be able to rest in your palm upside down and touch the ground with your arm at a 90-degree angle. If your poles are too long, you might have difficulty keeping them up. If they are too short, you will find yourself leaning over too much in one direction or another. Either way, this can lead to long-term health issues and have a negative impact on your skiing experience. Adjustable poles can provide relief in this area, or custom-designed poles that are specifically made for your body.